White Water Reserve, part of the proposed Sand to Snow National Monument in Southern California, is a long river basin flowing down from the San Bernardino Mountains to the sun baked outskirts of Palm Springs. A ten-mile hike up the wash passes through at least three distinct eco-systems from low-lying sand dunes and dry grassland to wintery pine forests. White Water is the perfect environment for an ever-expanding retirement population increasingly intolerant of seasonally extreme hot and cold weather.
Our team planned a town for this site using bipedal, driverless homes powered by local wind farms and cloud-based social media. Moving these buildings between different climates insures year round comfort, preserves wilderness, reduces construction costs, frees-up previously occupied land, while eliminating the need for roads, fixed public spaces and expensive heating and air-conditioning systems.
Our peripatetic machines use their legs to both grasp and transport individual dwellings. Roughly the size of a Mac truck they can haul a small subdivision from the desert to the mountains in under a month. During the year when not relocating people our robots becomes miniaturized units of urban infrastructure that can autonomously navigate the landscape and act as resupply vehicles, garbage scows and sewage transporters.
During the endless migration of this settlement nothing is disturbed, not the low brush and wild flowers, not the shallow river basins, not the rugged hills and pathless vistas. As summer heats up the valley, your neighborhood slowly ascends into the cool hills and disappears. Tomorrow you wake up in different place, observe the changed view outside your bedroom window and rejoin citizens like you who have found a home in every robot.
- Mike S. Silver; LAHRs - BSU
Status: School Project
Location: Palm Springs, CA
My Role: Lead Modeler; Fabricator; student
Additional Credits: Credits: Laboratory of Architecture and Humanoid Robotics, Ball State University (LAHRs/BSU):
Faculty: Mike Silver, Mahesh Daas, Josh Vermillion and Josh Coggeshall
Students: Jason Foley, Matthew Fullenkamp, William Zyck, Justin Krasci, Michael Bolatto, Tyler Cox, Glenn Cramer, Robert Cichocki, Antone Sgro, Derek Anger, Tianxia Peng, Derek Newman, David Smith, Yao Xiao, Mathew Wollak and Thomas Friddle, Yevgen Monakhov.